Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Art and Life

It is a strange and symbiotic relationship.  My life seeps into my writing--shaping characters, reactions, figures of speech, mannerisms, footwear.  It is not a conscious fusion.  I write what I know but I mix it with the multiple layers and nuances of research, of history, of interpretation.  Whether things are tumbling and tumulting in my life or whether familiar, long faded chickens are coming home to roost, it shows up in my writing.  A scene that would have turned right follows my footprint and turns left.

I am not sure that I mind it.  It rings true and is enough dissolved and diluted that it does not cause any uncomfortable recognition in others.  Only someone who knows me really well would be able to spot the collisions and connections.  It is not an exact translation but more a messy game of post office.  Events get reshaped and trimmed and tinted until they are something new.  But the bones of the real still hold the frame underneath.

It is not only large scale installation change but small detailed finish carpentry change as well.  I saw a rainbow while driving my sister to the airport the other day.  That elusive moment of pale striped sky stayed with me.  Without rain there are no rainbows.  It rained in my writing yesterday.


  1. Could it be otherwise? I don't see how this fusion is to be avoided - it's still your hand guiding the pen, your mind conjuring the images, your lived experience informing the impossible and untrue. I can't imagine how any writer could manage to separate their writing so completely from themselves, but it's fun to keep testing the line.

  2. i think you are right. it is funny with historical characters as i am working within an existing frame. it is all fun. i love it.


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